Last week’s session of the Conference of INGOs was the occasion to look back 40 years to the first meeting of the Conference of INGOs and to reflect on the progress made over the years. The Conference expresses its sincere thanks to the Mayor of Strasbourg who hosted a reception to mark this anniversary.
It was also the occasion to welcome new recruits to the Conference, not only INGOs recently granted participatory status but also some new faces elected to the posts of Chair and Vice-Chairs of the thematic committees. The new leadership of the thematic committees is as follows:
- Democracy, Social Cohesion and Global Challenges Chair: Thierry Mathieu; Vice-chairs: Gerhard Ermischer and Alexandra Luminata Petrescu
- Education and Culture Chair: Claude Vivier le Got; Vice-chairs: Karl Donert and Julianne Lagadec
- Human Rights Chair: Simon Matthijssen; Vice-chairs: Miguel Cabral and Iamvi Totsi
Addressing the Conference of INGOs, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe reiterated her support for the Conference and welcomed the positive developments of the past few years ensuring that the Conference has its place as a true partner in the Organisation.
Among the many varied debates organised during the week, some of the highlights were:
- A Side event organised in co-operation with PACE Committee on Equality and non-dicrimination: "Women's mobilization in Europe 2016: What impact on policies?";
- A debate/training session "How to fight against discrimination and hate speech in the post-truth era"
- A debate on the “populist wave in Europe” on the basis of the Secretary General’s latest report
- The situation of NGOs in member States with reports from the visits led by the President of the Conference to Hungary and Ireland and the meetings held with NGOs from Cyprus and Turkey
- The Conference adopted a Recommendation “Human Rights and Business” encouraging members States to implement the actions recommended in Committee of Ministers Recommendation (2016)3